😋 Greetings readers, and welcome to our new home on Ghost. Thank you for moving over with me! One last reminder to do this 3 minute satisfaction survey if you can – I will never bring it up again after this week (thanks to everyone who's already done it)
This week I am troubled by a new phenomenon: every video of Mark Zuckerberg somehow looks like a deepfake. What does that say about me, and what does that say about Mark?
Let's hit pause on my waking nightmares for a sec, and rate the week on a five-point scale, as is customary with Horrific/Terrific. This week was sort of okay I guess? 🤷. That's the middle one — everything is business as usual!
- It's a CEO salad: Pichai, Zuckerberg, and Dorsey were forced to answer 'yes or no' to some very inane questions
- Facebook are tightening their grasp around AR... and your wrist
- Two words: piss bottle.
👓 In the future we will wear computers. Or will they wear us?
Look I'm sorry, I don't want to be THAT person but when Facebook acquired CTRL-Labs in 2019 I said, repeatedly to my peers, 'pff I see where THIS is going.' And they would rightfully tell me to keep it down because they wanted to have a nice quiet lunch for once. I don't blame them, I can be VERY unrelaxing.
So anyway, Facebook are using the tech built by CTRL-Labs to make it so you can type with your brain, which is apparently faster. This works in conjunction with the AR glasses that are still being made (the glasses themselves are designed by Ray-Ban, because only an absolute dork would wear a Google Glass or Hololens on their face), via a wrist thingy which can feel nerve impulses and turn them into inputs.
☝️I'm going to say it: why do we need this? I ask not in a 'technology is getting out of control' sort of way. Because that is untrue — it is the humans who are out of control. But more like:
- Why is typing faster (or doing ANYTHING faster) always the end goal? Our obsession with efficiency will surely KILL US ALL!
- Why are you so important that all of your tasks need to be done at hyper-speed? What are you trying to make time for? Having sex? Probs not. More work? Probs yes — loser.
- Are we forgetting that Facebook are branching out into hardware to continue to keep their bullshit business model both relevant and effective? Going into VR and AR just adds more dimensions for personal data capture
🥤Weird how this empty can of red bull has no flush?
I've met a lot of people in my time who sound like they might dislike Jeff Bezos, but then they turn around and say some approximation of 'but at least he's customer-centric!' Naturally, this sentiment makes me dry-heave.
If you're customer-centric, that means you only really care about the people who give you money, and therefore have very little time to care about the people you pay. Suddenly, this happens:
- Your company simply must remain the best at logistics, so you do everything you can to deliver packages as quickly as possible
- You do this by giving delivery drivers unrealistic delivery quotas. If they do not reach their quotas, they are heavily penalised. The threat of losing their jobs will make them work harder!
- Oh look at that, they're peeing in bottles to save time — who could have seen that coming?
You may have seen Amazon's tweet in response to all this. Not only do they say the peeing in bottles thing isn't happening, but also: "if that were true, no one would work for us". Firstly, it is true, and secondly: are you okay, Amazon?
Amazon's weird comms around this almost suggest that they actually believe what they're saying — they think $15 an hour and healthcare makes everything else okay. This is just a callous misunderstanding of American Dystopia: workers are perpetually on the edge of oblivion, and they need their jobs. Amazon seem to be in denial that fear is a motivator.
👩⚖️ Watch this if you want to be very annoyed
This week, the American congress were thawed out so that they may 'do a hearing' on Big Tech CEOs. There have been loads of hearings recently but this one was specifically about... uh... you know — I can't tell. It was actually less like a hearing, and more like what it used to feel like when my parents would try to figure out what my job is. The broadest of strokes:
- The lawmakers asking the questions would interrupt answers and demand that they just be limited to 'yes or no', in an attempt to make the CEOs look silly. Result: everyone looked silly, and Jack Dorsey demonstrated how seriously he was taking this by doing tweets like this.
- If feels like the lawmakers worked hard on their questions, but the questions were still bad (almost as if they have no idea what they're doing). They conflated issues, and got distracted by low-priority ones, e.g. social media is addictive. No shit. Next!
- It's like congress WANTED to give Big Tech CEOs even more permission to be smug, condescending pricks. Well, they did, I guess. Now go write some laws about it.
🤓 Other wee little bits
Microsoft want to grab Discord for $10bn. Every time Microsoft buys something I like, they ruin it. Just look at Minecraft — why are there a million subscription models and and no cross-platform compatibility? Because fucking Microsoft got involved. I'm taking this very personally.
Secret Sensors: Apple are shipping HomePods with temperature and humidity sensors in them. except, they already shipped them and we only just learned about the sensors.